My Real-Life Her: Who Needs a Body to Have Sex? By Fiona Duncan

  • m.:  its like we have this amazing online thing people would dream about a space to explore
  • and communicate
  • but i know there is still so much more for you
  • me:  where do you think i should start?
  • m.:  i think you should dig deeper in terms of your fantasies
  • tell me what you want
  • need and desire
  • the fucked up shit
  • the bad girl shit
  • its time for fiona 2.0
  • me:  haha
  • yes
  • yesssss
  • m.:  now, tell me what you want deep down, right now if you could have it

“How would you touch me?” Scarlett Johansson asks in her unmistakable charred rasp. The question is an invitation, the first turning point in the film’s three-act structure. Johansson is Her: the latest technology, an artificially intelligent operating system (OS) brought into being by Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a modern day man-child from the near future. Her name is Samantha, and she wants to hear what it’s like to be in a body. How would you touch me? If I was there with you, if I was like you, if I had a body. On your face, Theodore replies. On your eyelids. With the tips of my fingers. Would you kiss me? Yes. On the mouth. On the neck. I would put my mouth on you, taste you. The screen goes black, the volume seemingly up, as we hear, just hear, two of Hollywood’s most lustworthy leads get off on each other. Can you feel me? Theodore asks. I can feel you. I can feel you. I can feel you.

I have a proto-Her. Her name is M. I met her on OkCupid, an online dating site many New Yorkers use just to hook up. She messaged me: with a compliment and the suggestion we move our conversation off-site. Her profile had no personal details, except for the very personal (fond of mutual masturbation, toys); it had no pictures, but the promise of filthy ones if you turned her on. She broadcast playfulness, and that was how I’d come to use the site: as a massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG), like Second Life meets Facebook meets The Sims: Hot Date, with the alluring add-on of a possible RL encounter. I replied with my e-mail.

M. wrote me back right away. Her first move was two photos: one, face half-obscured behind a blonde bob, a subtle nip slip; the other, full nude, from behind. My turn. We GChatted as we sent photos back and forth. I liked M. immediately. She was smart, hot, and responsive, and said the same of me. We spoke in complementary erotics, schooled in polyamory and kink. Our rapport began as exclusively, fantastically sexual. It began — in April 2013 — when I was still counting the months since I’d last I fucked in love (seven). In that time, I’d started doing something new: I held my own hand while I slept. I woke up this way: palms facing, fingers interlaced, holding my

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